A private eye escapes his past to run a gas station in a small town, but his past catches up with him. Now he must return to the big city world of danger, corruption, double crosses and duplicitous dames.
Nick Smith, the middle-aged proprietor of a roadside restaurant, hires drifter Frank Chambers as a handyman. Frank eventually begins an affair with Nick's beautiful wife Cora, who talks Frank into helping her kill Nick, by "accident." But the best laid plans...... Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
James M. Cain was so impressed with Lana Turner's performance he presented her with a leather-bound copy of the book inscribed, "For my dear Lana, thank you for giving a performance that was even finer than I expected." See more »
Frank and Cora are further apart, then closer together, when they get home from the late night swim. See more »
Drifter Frank Chambers applies for a job at a road side café belonging to Nick Smith, only to fall under the spell of Nick's wife Cora. He falls into desire which leads to deceit and eventually murder. Too late he falls in love but by then things have gone too far. He tells his story to us with the hindsight of a condemned man.
A classic bit of noir light. Based on Cain's sexual novel this underplays the explicit references but turns the subtle stuff way up - the film opens with a `Man Wanted' sign, while Cora is so well played that there's no doubt what she's offering. Without the explicit sex of the remake this story is a lot freer to be interesting rather than explicit. The court case and the mistrust between the lovers is as good as the early desire giving rise to murder.
Lana Turner is excellent as the femme fatale, she is smouldering and very, very desirable. Garfield is also excellent as the man trapped in her web. The two are the very center of the film and are both superb. If the film has any weakness then it may be that modern audiences need more than very subtle stuff, but that's probably our problem rather than the film's.
Overall this is very enjoyable, it has a great sense of mood and builds well to the inevitable conclusion.
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